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Thread: Bird dog

  1. #1
    djg05478's Avatar
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    Bird dog

    Took my dogs for a jaunt today and this was probably the best capture, some C&C would be welcome and appreciated.
    Bird dog

    D90 AF-S 55-200 f4-5.6 lens shot at 200 mm f8, 1/400, ISO 200

    I like the image because I like the intensity of his face, I think his face in focus, maybe not as sharp as it could be, more sharp than fuzzy. I caught some snow flying so that gives the impression of some movement.

    I tweaked the DNG file in ACR, upped the exposure a bit and I think I warmed the WB just a little. One pass of sharpening in CS4. I cropped it a bit, I didn't have anything to crop in back of him, but there was more space in front. Debating on cropping more in front of him.

    When cropping, in CS4 I set the crop tool to keep the dimensions of the photo. Is this a good or bad practice, should I crop to the needs of the image regardless of the resulting dimensions? I'm foggy on the concept of aspect ratios (I think thats the term, and yes its on my to do list to research).

    I'm really weak at capturing my dogs in action, things happen so fast, so for me today was about just getting out there and practicing (and coming home with two dogs . I kept the camera at f8 and had the shutter release on continuous. I'm all ears for some basic do's and don'ts.

    Thanks
    Debbie

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    Re: Bird dog

    Debbie

    The only negative comment I'd have about this is that the moment of capture doesn't, I think, show the dog to best effect. If the front legs had been in a more forward position it would have given a more powerful sense of bounding through the snow. But that's a minor point in terms of the exercise of getting everything else right and in the context of learning what to do and how to do it for this type of shot.

    But ........ The exposure is good. I think the focusing is very good (the eye is sharp and that's the key point). The dog is running 'into' the picture rather than having it's nose squeezed up against right hand edge. The background is nicely (not too much) thrown out of focus thus focusing our attention on the dog.

    I like it.

    So, in terms of the do's and don'ts .......... Keep doing more of the same. It works!

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    djg05478's Avatar
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    Re: Bird dog

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Debbie

    The only negative comment I'd have about this is that the moment of capture doesn't, I think, show the dog to best effect. If the front legs had been in a more forward position it would have given a more powerful sense of bounding through the snow. But that's a minor point in terms of the exercise of getting everything else right and in the context of learning what to do and how to do it for this type of shot.

    But ........ The exposure is good. I think the focusing is very good (the eye is sharp and that's the key point). The dog is running 'into' the picture rather than having it's nose squeezed up against right hand edge. The background is nicely (not too much) thrown out of focus thus focusing our attention on the dog.

    I like it.

    So, in terms of the do's and don'ts .......... Keep doing more of the same. It works!
    Thanks Donald - I agree 100% on his body position; we would really have something if he were stretched out. Honestly,
    I'm putting as much thought into my where abouts to get a shot as I am to the camera settings, but I wanted to post something so to get some feedback on the other elements (exposure, blur, and the crop) of the image. Good to know I'm on the right track. I have a horrible LCD monitor; seriously thinking that a monitor upgrade should be my next piece of photography gear.

    Debbie

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    Re: Bird dog

    Debbie, I love this photo. His position in the photo makes it look unique. As soon as I saw it, I had to go and snap a photo for you of my favourite ornament. It's a carving done by CI MacNab of MacNab Brothers in Oxford, Nova Scotia. This shop hearkens back to the 60's or before, I'd say. I picked up this carving 22 years ago at a Church sale for fifty cents. Hope to see many more photos of your handsome pup!

    Bird dog

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    Re: Bird dog

    Myra - Thanks for your comments and that is a lovely carving. These dogs are my passion. I have 2, they are rescues, the one in this photo is Gunther. I have a ton of photos of them, not so many worthy of posting in these forums for C&C, but for my own pleasure..and you gotta click a couple hundred mediocre ones to get a good one, and that is what I do.

    I have an album going on my profile page with 2 more dog photos in it, feel free to take a peak.
    Debbie

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    Re: Bird dog

    I just took a look. My, they are gorgeous dogs. The black and white photo really shows the personalities

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    Re: Bird dog

    My eye (and imagination) were immediately drawn to the intense expression on the dog's face. What is this guy looking at? For me, that is the photo's greatest strength -- if it were my dog, that alone would make it a keeper.

    I also like the fact that he's running on a slope, and almost directly toward you, which adds interest.

    My dogs are very active and I have countless photos of them -- but I've rarely been able to get well composed and focussed action shots.

    I like it!

    Carl

  8. #8

    Re: Bird dog

    Great looking dog and shot. I find the Collars distracting. Is she on point?

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    Re: Bird dog

    Quote Originally Posted by Hillbilly View Post
    My eye (and imagination) were immediately drawn to the intense expression on the dog's face. What is this guy looking at? For me, that is the photo's greatest strength -- if it were my dog, that alone would make it a keeper.

    I also like the fact that he's running on a slope, and almost directly toward you, which adds interest.

    My dogs are very active and I have countless photos of them -- but I've rarely been able to get well composed and focussed action shots.

    I like it!

    Carl
    Thanks Carl - I took about 100 photos of the dogs that outing. I kept about 5 of them and this was the best one. My philosophy is "keep clicking"....eventually you'll get something , its the only way to get better at photographing moving subjects. Its challenging, but very satisfying when you do manage a decent one.
    Debbie

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    Re: Bird dog

    Quote Originally Posted by GaryGPT View Post
    Great looking dog and shot. I find the Collars distracting. Is she on point?
    Thanks - he's actually running, if you look at the paws you can see a lil snow kicked up. Its not the best capture on the body position of the dog, but my goal of posting was to get feedback on the other aspects of the image. I'm looking forward to the day when my timing is spot on and I can get a sideview of him stretched out - he's a very athletic dog.

    I agree, the collars are, in a way distracting from the image of the dog. They are intrusive if you're goal is "au natural", ie. dog running birds in the brush. On the other hand, those collars (e-collars) are common place on hunting dogs, it would be more distracting, if he were, say, in a pink sweater.

    Thanks for looking and commenting
    Debbie

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Bird dog

    Quote Originally Posted by djg05478 View Post
    Thanks Carl - I took about 100 photos of the dogs that outing. I kept about 5 of them and this was the best one. My philosophy is "keep clicking"....eventually you'll get something , its the only way to get better at photographing moving subjects. Its challenging, but very satisfying when you do manage a decent one.
    Debbie
    Debbie
    I know you've just said that the primary purpose of posting was to prompt discussion on the other aspects rather than the pose of the dog, but since I've already commented on that (well on the pose as well), can I just ask ... Were you in in 'one shot' or 'continuous shooting/rapid burst' mode? Because I think you're right - You're have to take a lot to get the right one and if you're trying to do it on 'one shot' the task is even harder.

  12. #12
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    Re: Bird dog

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Debbie
    I know you've just said that the primary purpose of posting was to prompt discussion on the other aspects rather than the pose of the dog, but since I've already commented on that (well on the pose as well), can I just ask ... Were you in in 'one shot' or 'continuous shooting/rapid burst' mode? Because I think you're right - You're have to take a lot to get the right one and if you're trying to do it on 'one shot' the task is even harder.
    I remembered a couple shots in to switch to "continuous" - thanks for checking

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    Re: Bird dog

    Quote Originally Posted by djg05478 View Post
    Took my dogs for a jaunt today and this was probably the best capture, some C&C would be welcome and appreciated.
    Bird dog

    D90 AF-S 55-200 f4-5.6 lens shot at 200 mm f8, 1/400, ISO 200

    I like the image because I like the intensity of his face, I think his face in focus, maybe not as sharp as it could be, more sharp than fuzzy. I caught some snow flying so that gives the impression of some movement.

    I tweaked the DNG file in ACR, upped the exposure a bit and I think I warmed the WB just a little. One pass of sharpening in CS4. I cropped it a bit, I didn't have anything to crop in back of him, but there was more space in front. Debating on cropping more in front of him.

    When cropping, in CS4 I set the crop tool to keep the dimensions of the photo. Is this a good or bad practice, should I crop to the needs of the image regardless of the resulting dimensions? I'm foggy on the concept of aspect ratios (I think thats the term, and yes its on my to do list to research).

    I'm really weak at capturing my dogs in action, things happen so fast, so for me today was about just getting out there and practicing (and coming home with two dogs . I kept the camera at f8 and had the shutter release on continuous. I'm all ears for some basic do's and don'ts.

    Thanks
    Debbie
    Dear Debbie,

    Gunther looks like he's onto something!! I love seeing these pointers point in action on birds. He just doesnt look the best in the pose. Now with the little experience I have with moving subjects, the single most important setup is your shutter speed. Put your camera on "shutter priority" and reasonably fast 1/200 or even faster and set the drive mode to "continuous high speed" where the camera focuses as the subject moves. Now if you camera is capable of doing several frames a second, which I suspects it does, then you are well prepared for some serious good motion shots. Make sure you are on Autofocus. Id love to see a better looking shot (pose) of Gunther in action. Let me know when you think you have got it.

    Nasseem

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    Re: Bird dog

    Bird dog

    So I grabbed another one of Gunther in action. Still not the money shot by any means, but fun never the less and working my way up the learning curve getting more experience taking pictures of things that move and bumbled around in PS working with masks. So if anyone takes a peak.....does it look overly processed?

    I made a mask, blurred the background, then sharpened him...I know when you do that sometimes you can tell along the edges, just curious if it still looks natural. Crop is a little bit tight too, I think.

    Thanks Debbie

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Bird dog

    Quote Originally Posted by djg05478 View Post
    Bird dog

    So I grabbed another one of Gunther in action. Still not the money shot by any means, but fun never the less and working my way up the learning curve getting more experience taking pictures of things that move and bumbled around in PS working with masks. So if anyone takes a peak.....does it look overly processed?

    I made a mask, blurred the background, then sharpened him...I know when you do that sometimes you can tell along the edges, just curious if it still looks natural. Crop is a little bit tight too, I think.

    Thanks Debbie
    HI Debbie,

    To be honest, yes it does look 'false', I think you've just been a bit heavyhanded with the blurring behind and also toning down the brightness behind too (I assume you have, or I'll look silly)

    We can see the fence is within a flying dog's shadow of the subject, and yet it is SO blurry, it should have been further away.

    Getting carried away is something we all do to start with, so don't worry about it, just be more conservative next time.

    Perhaps selective sharpening or selective blurring, but not both, would have done?

    One thing to try, if you haven't already, is to set the amount/depth/flow (or whatever the adjustment is called) to say, 33%, meaning you would have to wipe over the same area 3 times to build to 100% of the effect - it allows more precise control.

    You can either do this on the effect itself (my preferred method), or when blending layers.

    Cheers,

  16. #16
    djg05478's Avatar
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    Re: Bird dog

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    HI Debbie,

    To be honest, yes it does look 'false', I think you've just been a bit heavyhanded with the blurring behind and also toning down the brightness behind too (I assume you have, or I'll look silly)

    We can see the fence is within a flying dog's shadow of the subject, and yet it is SO blurry, it should have been further away.

    Getting carried away is something we all do to start with, so don't worry about it, just be more conservative next time.

    Perhaps selective sharpening or selective blurring, but not both, would have done?

    One thing to try, if you haven't already, is to set the amount/depth/flow (or whatever the adjustment is called) to say, 33%, meaning you would have to wipe over the same area 3 times to build to 100% of the effect - it allows more precise control.

    You can either do this on the effect itself (my preferred method), or when blending layers.

    Cheers,
    Cool - That is exactly what I wanted to know and you were spot on with toning down the brightness. Gotta love digital, just delete and have another go.

    Thanks

  17. #17
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    Re: Bird dog

    Bird dog

    Version #2

    This should look more natural...I haven't done much to it. Some basic ACR stuff and then just a lil background blur.......and I see what you mean about the shadow.

    Debbie

  18. #18
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Bird dog

    Quote Originally Posted by djg05478 View Post
    Bird dog

    Version #2

    This should look more natural...I haven't done much to it. Some basic ACR stuff and then just a lil background blur.......and I see what you mean about the shadow.

    Debbie
    It does

    Not sure I follow what you think I said about the shadow; I was only using it as a measuring device to demonstrate the fence wasn't to far from the dog - is that what you meant?

    This is much better, but obviously avoiding the fence and close proximity, busy background when out next time with camera, dog and snow, is something to aspire to

    Cheers,

  19. #19
    djg05478's Avatar
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    Re: Bird dog

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post

    Not sure I follow what you think I said about the shadow; I was only using it as a measuring device to demonstrate the fence wasn't to far from the dog - is that what you meant?
    I misinterpreted your initial comment about the fence and the shadow, you can disregard my last comment about it - for a moment I thought it looked different without all the blur but when I toggled between the two I realized there wasn't much difference at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post

    This is much better, but obviously avoiding the fence and close proximity, busy background when out next time with camera, dog and snow, is something to aspire to

    Cheers,
    And I do aspire to get it, but sooooo many planets and settings have to align just right for me to get the shot that I want of Gunther. This one was taken in my yard and the purpose was to work on my timing. I typically hesitate, I wait too long to press the shutter and by the time I do he's out of the frame. (yup - Im in continuous mode)

    The neighbors have a little dog that's only purpose in life (so far as I can tell) is to run up and down the fenceline, barking his fool little head off and work my dog into a tizzy. So, today I decided to embrace the mayhem and practice taking pictures of my dog barrelling up and down the fenceline and working on my timing and my position to him. Of all the exposures I got today, this was the only one where he was extended, but he was at 90 and almost past me. I'd like to get a shot of him extended, but at angle where most of his face can be seen. I'll get it someday, thanks for your help

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